Woman Charged With DUI After Driving Head-On At Squad Car In Riverside

December 04, 2018 - 11:00 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A woman has been charged with driving under the influence after police dashcam video recorded her driving on the wrong side of the road and nearly striking a squad car on Saturday in Riverside. 

At about 12:25 a.m. Saturday, Katherine J. Barretto, 38, of Des Plaines, was headed north on First Avenue from I-55 in a 2013 Nissan passenger car when she crossed over into the opposite lane and nearly struck a squad car, according to Riverside Police.

Riverside Police received multiple calls Saturday of a a possible drunk driver who was driving "erratically" northbound on First Avenue from I-55. According to police, the vehicle was all over the road, driving in the middle of the road, and cutting people off. When officers arrive to the scene, police found the vehicle traveling northbound in the southbound lanes of First Avenue.

Police released a video from the squad car’s dashcam that shows a car rounding a curve on the wrong side of the yellow centerline toward the officer.

“Katherine Barretto drove directly at a fully marked Riverside squad traveling southbound on First. She was traveling northbound in southbound lanes and nearly struck the squad and other motorists. She traveled intoxicated from, at least, I-55 and LaGrange Road until she was stopped at 31st and First in Riverside. It’s a miracle that she or others were not seriously injured or killed in a crash," he said. 

The responding officer turned on lights and sirents to warn other incoming traffic, before making a traffic stop. The officer eventually stopped the vehicle First Avenue and 31st Street. 

According to Weitzel, when the officer approached the vehicle, he could smell alcohol from inside the car. When he asked the driver if she had been using alcohol or drugs, she denied using any illegal substance, but "her speech was slurred and she mumbled; her eyes were glassy, she had droopy eyelids, and appeared disoriented. She also did not know where she was when the officer made the stop. When asked to exit the vehicle, the driver’s movement were slow, and she was swaying and stumbling and could barely remain standing."

Barretto was administered the DUI roadside field sobriety testing and she failed all testing.

The same vehicle had previously been reported to Illinois State Police as a possible drunken driver on the Stevenson Expressway near La Grange Road, according to police.

Riverside Police arrested Barretto. She was charged with drunk driving, illegal lane usage and driving in wrong lane.